Given all the talk about the Revelation 12 sign that will appear in the heavens on September 23, 2017, and having studied in considerable detail the Church overcomers’ position of exaltation in heaven (enthroned with Christ!) during the great tribulation (see writings from last year in this series Our Exalted Position, especially Parts 6-11), we will now address the key question on many Christians’ minds today: does God’s word actually point to when the pre-tribulation rapture of His overcomers will occur?
The answer is yes – careful study reveals incontrovertibly that the Scriptures do so in two basic stages. Many serious students of prophecy submitted to Jesus Christ, the Name above all names, have been shown this.
First, the Scriptures reveal that the rapture (Greek: harpazo) will occur on the Feast of Trumpets, the fifth of God’s appointments with His people – we will expound upon this today.
Second, as we covered in Part 10: The Male Child Caught Up to God and to His Throne, Revelation 12:1-5 describes a great and wondrous sign which will occur in the heavens in conjunction with the rapture. From Genesis 1:14 we know that God made the stars, planets, sun, and moon to serve as signs and mark seasons…, which in the Hebrew means God’s appointed times. Shortly after writing Parts 10 and 11 of this series last year, the Lord led me to study the pioneering work of our brother Scott Clarke. Having spent countless hours utilizing astronomy software programs, Scott discovered about six years ago that that precise alignment will only occur on September 23, 2017. This has since been confirmed by many others. God-willing, I will address multiple Scriptures that concern this in subsequent articles…
I remind any sceptics that Jesus told His disciples, I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear (John 16:12), and that God explained to his OT prophet Daniel that knowledge will increase in the end-times (see Dan. 12:4). Also, It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings (Prov. 25:2).
I pray that our Father grant you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation as you make time to set yourself away from distractions in order to learn how His word reveals that the rapture of His overcomers IS the next appointment on the Kingdom calendar: the Feast of Trumpets. Amen.
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In Leviticus 23, God provided His people seven sacred appointments with Him, to be celebrated as feasts (see also Numbers 28:16 – 29:39 and Deuteronomy 16:1-17). Careful study of the Scriptures reveals that the first four appointments (the spring appointments) were fulfilled during Jesus Christ’s first advent, and the last three (the fall appointments) will be fulfilled during His second advent, with the Church age, of course, occurring between Pentecost (the fourth appointment, the Feast of Weeks) and the rapture (the fifth appointment, Feast of Trumpets). So much could be written about this…
Instead, though, I will reproduce two outstanding charts the Lord showed me on another brother’s YouTube channel* which encapsulate the key points we need to know about them. Please take your time and STUDY both charts to receive a tremendous blessing:
To the second chart I would add two details: (1) The Day of Atonement will be fulfilled at Christ’s second coming from heaven at the end of Daniel’s 70th “week” (the most prophesied event in Scripture, e.g. with His Bride/army as per Revelation 19). (2) Tabernacles will be fulfilled for 1,000 years when Christ tabernacles with His people during the Millennial Kingdom (e.g. Revelation 20).
Isn’t all that astounding?! I love how God rewards those who diligently study His word!
Now, you may be wondering, just as I did, how this fits with God’s design that the rapture be imminent so that all believers throughout the Church age would obey our Lord’s words to watch and pray that we might escape the coming wrath (e.g. Luke 21:36); how Paul, Peter, and John all indicated in their writings that they were awaiting Christ’s return, just as we are? Again, as Daniel 12:4 indicates, our knowledge and understanding about prophecy is increasing in these end-times as our access to information has increased exponentially during our generation because of computers and the internet. Recall also that John was not permitted to record what he heard the seven thunders say (see Rev. 10:1-4)…
The Lord has not led me to research exactly when the fulfillments of the Leviticus 23 feasts were first understood, but I recall reading a few years ago that it was within recent decades. Moved by the Holy Spirit, Paul did indicate in 1 Cor. 15:52 that the rapture would be at the last trump (which refers to the fifth feast, explained below), and, in verse 55 he even linked the rapture with Hosea 13:14, which is preceded by verse 13, which begins, Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him… (I kid you not! The word of God is astounding!) We’ll study that in a future article, God-willing; my point is, Paul may not have been aware of it, just as John may not have been aware of it regarding Rev. 12:1-5, yet the Holy Spirit moved these two apostles to write about this so that we Spirit-led disciples would receive the revelation now and apprehend it for such a time as this! Hallelujah! Do I have an amen?!
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Now, in Part 7: Sequence of Some End-Time Events, Imminency, and Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, we discussed our Lord’s foundational words about the end-times from Matthew 24 (also Mark 13). His carefully selected words, But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone, (Matt. 24:36 & Mark 13:32) are the pivotal point from which He started alluding to His rapture of His Bride. Here are two essential points Jesus masterfully relayed in those deliberate words:
(1) But of that day or hour no one knows is a Jewish idiom His disciples would have readily understood that refers to the Feast of Trumpets. If you studied Leviticus 23 and know that by God’s calendar (the Hebrew calendar) the month begins with a new moon, you may have realized that the Feast of Trumpets is the only Levitical Feast that begins on a new moon. The Jews knew the new moon would first become visible on one of two days, but they did not know exactly WHICH DAY or WHICH HOUR the two priests (2 witnesses) would spot it to begin the Feast / new month. Isn’t that cool?! So when Jesus said, “But of that day or hour no one knows,” He was referring to the Feast of Trumpets.
Furthermore, a) the themes of the Feast of Trumpets (Hebrew: Yom Teruah) include resurrection, a wedding, and a coronation ! b) the first trumpet of the Feast called the Jews in from the harvest to the temple at dusk, and thus required lamps and a supply of oil; they hurried in to make the festival with their lamps before the temple doors were closed.
The latter point should bring to mind Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matt. 25:1-13, for that parable also pertains to the rapture (see Part 7)! Behold Jesus’ words in the last three verses of that parable: 10″And while they [foolish virgins with insufficient oil] were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready [wise virgins with sufficient oil] went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”
(2) the Jewish wedding custom of the first century was that, after entering into covenant with the bride-to-be, the bridegroom returned back to his father’s house to prepare a room for her (this is what Jesus described in John 14:2-3 after entering into covenant with the 11)! Then, it was the bridegroom’s father who determined the day his son should go and get his bride – only the father knew the day, not the son! (Here is a link to an article on the Jewish wedding custom.)
Isn’t this great?! It is SUCH a blessing to know the pertinent Hebrew culture so we can interpret the Scriptures accurately in their proper context!
So, in Matt. 24:36 (also Mark 13:32), with the masterfully selected words, But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone, Jesus was telling His disciples He would come to rapture His Bride (deliver her from Israel’s coming wrath of Daniel’s 70th week, the time of Jacob’s trouble) on the Feast of Trumpets.
Most Christians today do not understand His words in the proper cultural context, and incorrectly assert that no one can know when Christ will come for His Bride. Jesus, however, made it quite clear idiomatically that the next appointment on God’s kingdom calendar, the Feast of Trumpets, is when He will harpazo His Bride.
After His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, the Lord then had Paul detail the rapture (as studied in Part 7) in 1 Thess. 4:15-17 and in 1 Cor.15:50-53 (please study these scriptures if you are unfamiliar with them). Lastly, He then addressed it again Himself via His angel to John in Rev. 3:10 when He told the church of Philadelphia, Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. (see Part 8: The Doors, the Trumpet, and the Transformation)
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So there you have it! Please get the word out and share this widely! The Feast of Trumpets is at the new moon in September this year, and Paul explains the rapture occurs at the last trump (1 Cor. 15:52), which is right before that Hebrew day transitions to the next during the evening…
God-willing, in subsequent articles we’ll examine the very likely possibility that Jesus Christ will harpazo His Bride – His overcomers of Rev. 2 and 3 – this September right about the time the Revelation 12 sign is actually due to appear. As we shall examine, many OT Scriptures tie in with the woman in labor…
(To be continued…)
* I need your help! I am presently unable to remember the young man’s You Tube site from which I made these screenshots of his two excellent charts. Please leave a link to his site in the comments so I may properly honor him! Thanks!